Thoughts on Florida Dollar General shooting

There’s been another mass shooting, this time in the Jacksonville, Florida region. And unlike some other, more ambiguous attacks, when the media calls this out as a racist attack, they will be accurate. The unnamed shooter did nothing to hide his hatred, going out of his way to post about it repeatedly online. He even painted swastikas on one of his weapons. He wanted to “kill Black people” (he actually used the n-word) and he wound up taking the lives of two men and a woman.

He was first seen lurking around Edward Waters University, a small historically Black university. He was seen donning a bulletproof vest and breaking out some weapons. The authorities were called, but he disappeared before he could be apprehended. He then showed up at a Dollar General store in a predominantly Black neighborhood, barricaded himself inside, and killed three people before taking his own life. 

From the NY Post:

The “maniac,” who was in his early 20s, stormed the store with a tactical vest,  Glock and an “AR-15 style” rifle, with swastikas painted on it.

Despite the Nazi symbols, police said “there is absolutely no evidence that the shooter is part of any larger group.”

“This was, quite frankly, a maniac who decided he wanted to take lives,” Waters said. “He targeted a certain group a people, and that’s Black people, that’s what he said he wanted to kill. And that’s very clear.

“Any member of that race at that time was in danger — of the Black race.”

This guy had a history, but apparently, it wasn’t widely known. He had been involuntarily institutionalized in 2017, suggesting that he had some sort of mental malfunction going on. (Not that it would excuse anything, of course.) He was also “involved” in a domestic violence call by police prior to that, but was not arrested. So he didn’t technically have any priors before this attack, but there had been warning signs and his online activities were reportedly rife with racist rants about Black people.

Also of interest is the fact that the police said they had uncovered multiple “manifestos” that he left behind. (He also left notes to his family.) How much would you like to bet we’ll have these manifestos pretty quickly? That would be in stark contrast to the trans shooter in Nashville, where her manifestos still haven’t seen the light of day.

There may be one other parallel between Nashville and Jacksonville. There is unlikely to be much of an “ongoing investigation” in this case because authorities quickly determined that there is “absolutely no evidence” that he was part of a larger group or had any accomplices. That’s usually the excuse they use when they want to withhold evidence from the public. But there weren’t any other accomplices in Nashville, either. Audry Hale acted alone.

So what’s the difference? This shooting fits The Narrative. It was a white guy attacking Black shoppers simply because of their race. In that regard, it’s similar to the Buffalo shooting earlier this year. That makes it okay to talk about. And I would wager that it will be viewed as perfectly acceptable to release his manifestos.

It’s not that I’m complaining about how this will probably be handled. The public absolutely should see those manifestos and see what might be determined about how he plotted the attack in the hopes of preventing similar tragedies in the future. We should know about his mental health history and if he was on any medications for the same reason, particularly since he had already been involuntarily institutionalized. Of course, we can say precisely the same things about the Nashville shooting, but that appears to be turning into a lost cause.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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